A bit of music from the lamented Radio Blog Club

Le Français

Toujours, je suis désolé pour mes amis( et amies) français(es), mais il est difficile pour moi d'écire en français. Peut-être un jour...
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Old Man

The "Old Man" was Juan Manuel Fangio's nickname in the 1950s when he achieved his five world championships. He was 45 in 1957 when he won the last one, and anyone who has read about his stunning drive that year at the Nürburgring will recognise his greatness.

Anyway, he is my favourite post-war driver (though I have a big place in my heart for Mike Hawthorn) in respect of his staggering talent and ability.

Here I have a couple of videos for you. Pertinently the first one happily in colour, shows Fangio at Monaco driving the Lancia D50 - OK, "Lancia-Ferrari"... The noise! EDIT: I have just this minute discovered this thread on the Atlas Nostalgia Forum. It appears that this film was made in 1970 and Fangio (at 58 years old) is driving a D50 - doesn't explain though why there is a Ferrari badge on the front of it, instead of the "shield and flag"

And here at the Modena Autodrome in a 250F - great car control and more wonderful noise. As a (English) Lancia Club friend observed to me, once the engines went above about 10,000 it became difficult to relate to the noise. I agree.

For all you youngsters, I should point out that in 1957, a 250F Maserati, running on the special fuels permitted (for the last time that year) produced from its 2.5 litre engine, around 295-300 BHP. Doesn't sound much today does it? But these cars weighed about half a ton and were very quick. Maximum speed was probably around 170 mph, and with drum brakes and those skinny cross-ply tyres, required a great deal of skilled input from the drivers. And a Grand Prix in those days was 300 miles...

Until the next time.


Frank said...

Hi Paul! I must say I take my hat off to those drivers, in those days you had to actually "drive" the car and if you were good, it showed, if you were bad, that showed too, these days it's more the car driving you, I'm not saying that the whole computerised side of motor vehicles is bad but in my opinion it takes something away from the driving experience. I don't like the fact that these days a car is "intelligent" to the point where if a sensor is bust the ecu will compensate somewhere else for the bust sensor and allow you to merrily drive along until, one day, bang... and you have a big problem to sort out than if you had got it in advance. I just like the old days where people could actually "work" on cars... (I know many will disagree with me but that just my personal opinion. Thanks for the great articles Paul! - Frank

Paul said...

Thanks Frank for your comment.

I agree with you. For example my landlady has apart from her Fanalone (for which I built the engine for rallying) two Evos and a 16v Integrale. the 16v had a problem which I guessed to be the throttle position sensor. I could only guess because I don't have the necessary electronic kit to test. Indeed it turned out that the position was incorrect! I hate all this stuff! It's true that even with an old car a CO meter is a great help (and an engine dyno too!) but still...

In Fangio's day, the factory mechanics would put "Prova" plates on and blast the things up and down the public roads; one way to sort out the carburetion!

Sod the Law!


New Internet Speed test

Music and Radio Blog Club

Radio Blog Club, a good friend for a while appears to be in some legislative difficulty...

However, in tribute to its brave effort, I shall leave the existing track on this page (which amazingly still works)

Sadly my Playlist no longer works (hence its removal) thanks to the absurd "Hadopi" legislation in France. Apologies to all.